Mike Speer, Technology Director

Gail Driscoll, Lower Division Computer Science Teacher

Buck Johnson, Middle Division English and Counselor

Patricia Lukacs, Upper Division Academic Dean and English

Jaimie Crawford, Upper Division English

PLP One-Unit Challenge Version 2
Education is changing. Blogs, wikis, online social networks and other Web 2.0 tools present our students with unprecedented learning opportunities. The world our students inhabit is increasingly engaging, creative, and collaborative. Today, this revolution extends to politics, business, and journalism.

We have a responsibility to equip our students with the skills to traverse this rapidly changing landscape. This means that we must first educate ourselves. It is hard for us to train students to use media that we ourselves do not understand. With this in mind, we are building on the demonstrated success of the “One-Unit Challenge” that Middle Division launched last year.

This new version of the “One-Unit Challenge” comes in two parts. First, the final outcome will be that you and a colleague produce an interdisciplinary unit that:

  • begins with an essential question, one that “lies at the heart of a subject or curriculum and promotes inquiry and uncoverage of a subject” (Wiggins and McTigue, 342). Your essential question should provoke critical thought, sustained inquiry, and connect prior learning. Essential questions do not have single right answers. We will talk in more detail about essential questions.
  • emphasizes one or more of the following - critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, communication and collaboration, information literacy, media literacy, ICT (information, communication and technology) literacy, or life and career skills.
  • incorporates innovative pedagogical tools or techniques. No PowerPoint projects; they’re passé. Break out of routines and habits. If you need us to buy something—software, hardware, whatever—just ask. We’ll do our best to get you the tools that you need.
  • includes innovative assessment. Shift the focus from what is taught to what is learned. Better yet, focus on what students can DO! This may call for atypical rubrics and models. Be willing to explore new ways to assess student mastery.
  • captures your team’s One-Unit Challenge work on a specially formatted curriculum map posted in the Atlas mapping program. I’ll format the map and ensure you and your partner can access the format in Atlas.

Second, in developing this unit we will ask your team to use Web 2.0 tools in connecting with your colleague. It is unlikely that we can make effective use of these tools in the classroom until we begin to use them in our professional lives. The essential power of these tools is their ability to connect people over time and distance. Since this is to be developed collaboratively, using these technologies makes perfect sense. We are challenging you to embrace an immersive learning experience that embeds 21st Century tools into professional development. We will facilitate this process by:

  • offering coaching and training in the use of a variety of Web 2.0 tools including social networks, wikis, blogs, microblogs, shared bookmarks, interactive media, etc.
  • creating a Berkeley “One-Unit Challenge v.2” ning and wiki.

April PLP Presentation